6 Things every Vegan Teenager goes Through
Thank you Nandini for sharing your experiences with Vegan First!
When I became a vegan and stopped having milk products and other animal products, my family went crazy! I made a theory that claims: If you are a vegan - it's gotta be tough, but if you are a teenager who's a vegan... Well... I'll say best of luck for this crazy journey. So read and relate to my life as a vegan teenager
1. The 'you won't get any protein or calcium' talk.
You know it, every time you refuse to have ghee or milk, the 'low protein' and 'deteriorating bones' talk starts. Counter arguments never work because parents never see that sprouts and daal have protein and ragi has calcium. Your parents will go on and on about how you are a teenager and are a 'growing child who can't afford to leave milk.'
2. The reaction people have when you tell them Oreos and Hide-and-Deek are accidentally vegan
This is what a typical conversation looks like, and yes, it's the same for every family.
MOM: Okay, I get it, you're a vegan now. I am actually really proud that you've been able to have so much determination!
YOU: Thanks Mom.
YOU 2 DAYS LATER: * opens an Oreo packet*
MOM: So now I get it, you're a vegan only to avoid milk. When it's time for a biscuit, your cruelty and all doesn't matter to you?
YOU: Mom, Oreo is accidentally vegan. Check the ingredients.
YOU : *Reads off ingredients*
MOM: *Walks out of the room after seeing your smug face*
3. When your hosts don't make Vegan food.
So you turn up at your friend's house and sit on the table, ready for food. The maid gets roti(without ghee or butter) for you and serves it to you. Next, she gets the vegetable, steaming hot from the kitchen. It smells good and you are ready to start. Just as you open the cover, you see bits of white stuff - paneer! Now you just have to be happy with your roti and jam.
4. When your friends forget to get you a vegan birthday cake!
"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you..." They all sing loudly.
From the back of the bus, where all of my friends are huddled, a cake is being passed down the length of the bus toward me.
I smile at them, but behind my back, my fingers are crossed. "Please tell me it's vegan, please!" I think to myself anxiously.
As the cake reaches me, a knife is also presented to me. I hesitantly take the knife, blow the candle, and start to slowly cut the cake.
I call my best friend, Rudra, over. Not to give her a bite of cake, but to ask her if it is vegan.
As soon as the word 'Vegan' escapes my mouth, there is a sign of annoyance on her face.
Looking at her, everyone suddenly stops singing for me. The only sound left is the roaring of the bus's engine and the traffic from outside.
"Can't you just be grateful that we got you a cake? Instead of asking me if it is vegan, you could have just had it. How does it make a difference anyway?
She took the cake and angrily cut it into small pieces and distributed it to everyone, except me.
I let myself sit alone on the front seat. I think of how my entire day is ruined now onwards. I regret how I reacted, but I know that veganism is what I stand for.
As I predicted, my day is going horribly. Everyone is nice and wish me, but my name is being whispered with the word 'ungrateful' associated with it.
My day continues to progress slowly as I move from class to class. After a lot of thought, I decided to go talk to my friends.
I go up to their table during lunch. Some stop talking when they see me. A nudge or two to people's ribs and everyone I quiet.
"Guys, we need to talk about this morning," my heart is thumping so loud I can't even hear what I am saying, but I know that I am doing the right thing.
They look directly at me, their piercing looks not softening even a bit. It does not help that I am already nervous and feel like running away.
"See guys, I really didn't mean to be ungrateful. I am serious about being a vegan and I wish that you just at least respect that. I don't want veganism to be a topic on which we always fight. I just need you all to respect the choices I make for my own life. I don't think I need to give you the 'why I am a vegan' talk again, so that's all I have to say," I let out a sigh of relief. The toughest part is over - clear communication.
They all look at me and slowly nod approvingly.
"I'm sorry, I think we are just not used to the idea that you are a vegan and so serious about it. We really shouldn't have overreacted like that. For next time we will bake a vegan cake for you," Rudra smiles at me.
"Also," Rayna starts to say, " we wanted to take you out for dinner and hadn't chosen a place, but now I think all of us will agree to go to that vegan café you love!"
5. Preferring to spend the weekend leafleting than going for a movie
If you’re a passionate vegan who wants to spread the word, it’ll be hard to explain to your friends that you’d rather go leafleting at a park than watching the latest hit movie over the weekend.
6. Breaking up with your Boyfriend, and craving vegan ice cream!
Which girl doesn’t love a bowl of ice cream when you’re depressed or dealing with an idiot ex. Unfortunately, it’s so much harder to find vegan ice cream readily. Good news, there are tons of popsicle recipes to satiate that craving.
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